NYT: online child sex abuse imagery at all-time high

FILE – In this Nov. 14, 2019, file photo, a woman checks her phone in Orem, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

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UPDATED 8:00 AM PT — Saturday, February 22, 2020

An investigation by the New York Times revealed online child sex abuse is a “crisis at its breaking point.” Online child pornography is a crime so prevalent that law enforcement is struggling to keep up with it.

According to the recent report, child predators have been thriving with the current state of the web. The problem has gotten so bad that now, officials said the term child pornography doesn’t communicate the severity of the issue at hand. They said a better term to use is online child sex abuse imagery.

Last year, law enforcement received an astronomical amount of reports of online material showing exploited children. In 2014, the number of reports of this imagery passed one million for the first time. Four years later in 2018, that number increased to 18.4 million. Last year, that amount doubled to 45 million online child abuse reports.

Officials have said they are so overwhelmed with these types of cases, they have to first prioritize those where infants and toddlers are involved.

“Nobody wants to know that this dark side of humanity exists, and not just exists, but the scope of it,” stated Judy Smith, U.S. Attorney’s Office-District of Colorado. “The number of cases are an avalanche, we just feel like we’re dishing the ocean out with a spoon.”

Russia, Friday, April 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Even though law enforcement is doing its best to catch these predators, imagery they already possessed is still being circulated around the web, forcing victims to relive their abuse. In one case, the biological father of a child abused his daughter and documented that abuse for years. Though the father is behind bars now, the child’s mother said the images of her daughter are still being viewed by hundreds of predators across the country.

“Oh my gosh this person just in Kansas and New York, somebody in Wisconsin saw my kid,” stated the mother.

This woman, as well as many others, said something needs to be done to ensure that tech companies will work to tackle this growing problem.

The report noted that current U.S. regulation requires tech companies only to report child abuse imagery when they discover it and do not require firms to actively search for it. Furthermore, these tech firms are unlikely to search for it and keep their sites safe, since it would require revenue to issue a task force that would find predators accounts and shut their own users down.

“Parents should make sure there’s a good avenue to communicate and if they have that conversation, the children know they can come to them,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Calvin Shivers.

Officials continue to warn parents to monitor their children if they’re online and have an open dialogue with them about internet safety.

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Original Article

Adam Schiff says ‘it’s hard to be sympathetic’ to Carter Page amid FISA abuse revelations

closeCarter Page plans on going after FBI agents who spied on himVideo

Carter Page plans on going after FBI agents who spied on him

Former Trump campaign associate Carter Page reacts to IG report on 'Hannity.'

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is not expressing any remorse for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who was swept up in the yearslong Russia investigation.

In an interview clip released on Friday, "Firing Line" host Margaret Hoover read quotes from Page about how the Russia probe had such a negative impact, including how the FBI spying into his life "ruined his good name" and that he will "never completely have his name restored."

"Do you have any sympathy for Carter Page?" Hoover asked.

"I have to say, you know, Carter Page came before our committee and for hours of his testimony, denied things that we knew were true, later had to admit them during his testimony," Schiff responded. "It's hard to be sympathetic to someone who isn't honest with you when he comes and testifies under oath. It's also hard to be sympathetic when you have someone who has admitted to being an adviser to the Kremlin."

WASHINGTON POST MEDIA CRITIC SLAMS CNN FOR KEEPING MCCABE ON PAYROLL AMID FISA ABUSE REVELATIONS: 'CORRUPTING'

"But then was also informing the CIA," Hoover pushed back.

"Yes, yes," Schiff acknowledged.

"Which we didn't know about," the host added.

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The high-ranking Democrat stressed that Page was "apparently both targeted by the KGB" as well as "talking to the United States and its agencies." He also admitted that his ties to the CIA "should have been included" in the highly controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application process that Page was the subject of.

Earlier this month, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz uncovered 17 significant errors in the FISA applications the FBI had requested in order to surveil Page.

Original Article

Barr blasts FBI’s Trump probe, accuses investigators of ‘gross abuse’

closeAG Barr: Beginning of Russia investigation was 'very flimsy'Video

AG Barr: Beginning of Russia investigation was 'very flimsy'

Attorney General Bill Barr discusses the beginning of the Russia investigation and the origins of the Steele dossier

Attorney General Bill Bar is blasting the FBI’s conduct during the Russia investigation, saying investigators relied on "flimsy" evidence in launching the probe and disputing key conclusions from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report released Monday.

Horowitz was critical of the FBI for their practices in using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to get a warrant to conduct surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, but he concluded that the investigation itself was launched properly, without evidence of political bias.

7 TAKEAWAYS FROM FISA REPORT

“It’s hard to look at this stuff and not think that it was a gross abuse,” Barr said during a discussion Tuesday at a Wall Street Journal CEO Council forum in Washington. He referred to the investigation as a whole as a "travesty."

"Where I disagree with Mike, I just think this was very flimsy," he said about the basis for the investigation. The FBI cited comments by Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos to an Australian official as sparking concerns about the campaign's possible involvement with Russia. Barr dismissed this as "a comment made by a 28-year-old volunteer on a campaign in a bar."

Barr also pointed to the FBI’s failure to include key evidence in their FISA warrant applications that would have gone in Page’s favor.

"They withheld from the court all the exculpatory information," he said, calling the anti-Trump dossier used to bolster the warrant applications a "sham."

CLICK TO READ THE IG REPORT

He also pointed out that the Russia investigation was supposed to be a counterintelligence probe, yet there was no effort to warn the Trump campaign about suspected Russian activities.

“The normal thing to do in this situation,” Barr said, “is to go to the campaign, and here I don’t think there’s a legitimate explanation for why they didn’t.”

Barr made it clear that he does not know for sure that there was political bias.

Former DOJ official: Horowitz report findings a 'big problem for America'Video

"I don't know what the motivations were," he said, stating it is premature to make a determination on that.

"That's why we have Durham," Barr said, referring to the ongoing investigation by Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, which is broader in scope than Horowitz's review. "Durham is able to look at all the evidence," Barr said. He specifically referred to Durham's ability to talk to other government agencies and private parties, and to compel testimony.

Barr’s remarks echo what he said in a blistering NBC interview earlier Tuesday.

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Barr said that despite the report saying Horowitz did not have evidence that political bias played a factor in the investigation, he believes the IG left open “the possibility that there was bad faith” involved.

“All he said was, people gave me an explanation and I didn't find anything to contradict it,” he said. Barr also pointed a finger at the media, saying: "I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press."

And he said the Trump campaign was "clearly spied upon" during the investigation.

Original Article

Democrats unveil articles of impeachment alleging abuse of power, obstruction

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Fox News Go

House Democrats on Tuesday announced articles of impeachment against President Trump alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress regarding his interactions with Ukraine, touching off a rapid-fire sequence that could result in a momentous floor vote in a matter of days.

“The framers of the Constitution prescribed a clear remedy for presidents who so violate their oath of office,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said. "No one, not even the president, is above the law.”

While Republicans have blasted the process as political, dubbing it the "focus group impeachment" in response to reports that Democrats tested different allegations with focus groups, Democrats are moving swiftly ahead of the holiday break.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., directed the Judiciary Committee to proceed with drafting the measures just last week.

"The clock and the calendar should not be the basis for impeachment," House Judiciary Ranking Member Doug Collins, R-Ga., told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" minutes before the announcement.

IMPEACHMENT TENSIONS FLARE: DEM COUNSEL SAYS TRUMP ABUSED POWER, AS GOP RIPS 'RUBBER STAMP' HEARING

It is unclear, at this point, whether Democrats’ articles focused on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress will reach beyond the Ukraine controversy and into former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Mueller found no evidence of conspiracy or coordination between members of the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election but left the door open to whether the president obstructed the federal probe — a point that Democrats have made in the public hearing phase of the House impeachment inquiry.

Absent from the planned charges is a “bribery” count, which Democrats have repeatedly accused the president of in regards to his highly controversial July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — in which he pressured him to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s dealings with Ukraine.

Pelosi held a meeting in her office Monday night with Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., after a hearing held by Nadler’s committee that featured lawyers laying out the evidence for and against impeachment.

In drafting the articles of impeachment, Pelosi is facing a legal and political challenge of balancing the views of her majority while hitting the Constitution's high bar of "treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

GOP LAWYER TURNS IMPEACHMENT TABLES BY SCORCHING BIDENS AT HEARING

At the center of the impeachment inquiry is Trump’s efforts to press Zelensky to launch politically related investigations—regarding Joe Biden's effort to oust a Ukrainian prosecutor who had been looking into the natural gas firm where his son Hunter served on the board.

The president’s request came after millions in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen, which Democrats have argued shows a “quid pro quo” arrangement. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Original Article